Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will be in the running to host 2018 Asia Cup when the Asian Cricket Council meets in Dubai Monday. The ACC following a meeting in October 2015 in Singapore had named India as the host for tournament next year. But this came into doubt due to uncertainty surrounding Pakistan’s participation in the prevailing political climate between the two neighbours.
There is also an ongoing tussle between the Pakistan Cricket Board and the Board of Control for Cricket in India over India not hosting Pakistan for a bilateral series. The PCB in return had claimed compensation of $70m against BCCI for not honouring the agreement to hold a bilateral cricket series between the two nations.
India were supposed to host the U-19 Asia Cup last month in Bengaluru. However, their inability to get permission from the Indian government for Pakistan to play in the tournament meant it was moved to Kuala Lumpur.
It is understood that the BCB will be elated to host the tournament, scheduled for August, once again. However, having hosted the multi-nation tournament three consecutive times – in 2012, 2014 and 2016 - the governing body of cricket in Asia might opt for a change. BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury is attending the ACC meet.
Bangladesh holds goodwill of hosting successful multi-nation cricket tournaments. However, it was learned Sri Lanka might be awarded the tournament next year.
Meanwhile, the tournament next year is likely to have six teams with the participation of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and an Asia Cup qualifier and return to its old format – ODI. The last edition of the tournament, held in February-March 2016, was played in the T20 format to prepare the teams for the World T20 held right after in India.